Fire at vacant East Side house called suspicious

Firefighters not sure if fire is linked to other recent arson cases

SAN ANTONIO – A fire that caused damage to a vacant house on the East Side is being called suspicious.

Firefighters responded to the 300 block of Canton Street just before 7 a.m. Friday after a neighbor called 911 about a fire on the outside of the house.

Capt. Matthew Lodge, acting battalion chief, said firefighters were able to knock down the fire quickly, but not before the flames spread to the inside of the house.

"It's suspicious because we have no electricity to the structure and it's a vacant building, also," Lodge said.

Firefighters searched the house and did not find anyone inside it.

A neighbor also confirmed that no one had been living there for a while.

Arson investigators were called in to pinpoint the cause of the fire.

Lodge, however, said it looked as though someone may have started it outside and underneath the house near a bedroom.

He said all signs point to an arson case, which the San Antonio Fire Department has seen a lot of lately.

"We've been having an increase in structure fires on this side of town, especially in vacant and abandoned structures," Lodge said.

During one overnight stretch on Sept. 28, firefighters responded to four suspicious fires at vacant houses within a few blocks of each other.

The fires destroyed a home in the 900 block of Dawson Street and caused damage in the 1400 block of East Commerce Street, the 200 block of Olive Street and the 1000 block of Montana Street.

Crime Stoppers issued an appeal earlier this week for information about the fire on Dawson Street.

No one has been arrested in connection with any of the fires.

Investigators said they're not sure whether any of them are connected.

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